I don’t gamble because money changes people

A friendly game of cards couldn't hide a cheat...could it?

Working in community journalism my entire adult life, money isn’t really a serious problem that I’ve had to deal with. By that I mean, there are no large piles of money laying around in my house, causing issues for pedestrian traffic.

Hence, I try to be as practical as possible. Living on a tight budget encourages you to be practical and avoid waste. That $20 you saved on groceries could be the gas money you need to see family on the weekend.

However, there is one thing that I seriously balk at where my money is concerned, and that is gambling. Part of it stems from basically being broke most of my life (I don’t have the kind of money you need to gamble) but I’ve noticed that, when money is involved, people change. Even people you think you know.

When I was in college in 1993, we journalists were a tight crew. We spent a lot of time together both in class and outside. Most of us lived on a budget even in college, so the recreational activities we enjoyed tended to be simple and cheap. We played a lot of cards.

One week, we decided to let one of our classmates teach us the game “hearts.” Hearts, according to Wikipedia, is an “evasion-type” trick-taking playing card game for four players, although variations can accommodate 3–6 players. For some people, it’s not worth playing a game if money isn’t involved. Therefore, one person in the group wanted to play for pennies, nickels and dimes. We all said “okay,” mostly to maintain harmony in the group.

After a few hands, one of my buddies whispered to me that he suspected the player who requested we play for money was cheating. Apparently, the player in question was counting cards. It turned out that, yes, the player in question was counting cards and cheating his friends.

Counting cards is, in essence, using your memory to keep track of which cards have appeared thus giving you an ability to predict the cards that have yet to appear. A few people who use this form of cheating often try to minimize or justify it by saying it’s not cheating. However, counting cards is forbidden in any casino in Las Vegas, for example, and if you’re caught doing it, some casinos will ban you for life. So explain to me how you can be banned for life for something that isn’t considered cheating.

I realize some people enjoy gambling, and know when to stop. Lottery, for example, apparently can be a lot of fun to play. Despite the fact that, mathematically, it’s more likely you’ll be struck multiple times in your life by lightning than it is that you’ll win the lottery just once.

It bothers me that money, even miniscule nickels and dimes, were so important to somebody that they would lie to and cheat people who called him “friend.” So no more gambling of any sort when friends are involved as far as I’m concerned.

Where I come from, good friends are worth a lot more than five or ten cents.

Stu Salkeld is the new editor of The Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Norris Beach Road Tender Approved

County of Wetaskiwin Council awarded the tender for Range Road 11 to Crow Enterprises Ltd.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

Government of Alberta COVID-19 Aggregate Data Map. Screen Grab/ https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#geospatial
City of Wetaskiwin under 10 active cases; single active case in County

Active COVID-19 cases in the City and County of Wetaskiwin continue to drop.

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

A locally-produced video project aims to preserve Canada’s railway history

‘Railways have been an integral part of Canadian history since 1836’

Ryan Jake Applegarth of Ponoka, 28, is scheduled to appear at Ponoka Provincial Court on March 12, 2021. (File photo)
Discussions about justice continue as Ponoka murder victim’s case proceeds

Reaction to comments Ponoka Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley made to town council last month

Dr. Stanley Read
Hometown Bashaw doctor recognized with alumni award for AIDS work

Dr. Stanley Read, born and raised in Bashaw, is considered a global health leader

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Drop was largely due to shutdowns in the spring as COVID began to spread

A ” Justice for Jeff” T-shirt. (Photo submitted)
Rally to be held outside Red Deer courthouse for slain Ponoka man

Sentencing for accused charged with manslaughter with a firearm set for March 4

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Time to check the mail: Every household to receive a Canada Post postcard this spring

Postcard can be mailed for free to any address in Canada

Most Read